Navigation Links
Tufts engineering professor wins NSF Career Award
Date:4/6/2011

MEDFORD/SOMERVILLE, Mass. Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Tom Vandervelde has been awarded an early-career award from the National Science Foundation for promising research on the conversion of heat to electricity.

Vandervelde, the John A. and Dorothy Adams Faculty Development Professor, will use the $400,000, five year award to continue his studies in thermophotovoltaics (TPVs)cells that convert thermal energy, or heat, into electricity. His research has implications for a new class of green technologies.

"Right now, heat sources have to be in excess of 1500 degrees Celsius in order for TPVs to work efficiently," says Vandervelde. His goal is to make TPVs more efficient at lower temperatures, and ultimately, convert heat to electricity at a cool 37 degrees Celsiusor the temperature of the human body.

This could have potential use in medical devices, such as a pacemaker that keeps a charge from the electricity generated by one's own body heat.

In a TPV system, when a photonan energy packet of light or heatstrikes the TPV a charge carrier pair is created that generates an electron and subsequently electricity.

But if the charge carriers recombine, a photon is re-emitted and is lost as light or heat. "Every time that recombination happens, that's less energy you get out and in the end that lowers your overall efficiency," says Vandervelde.

By using recent advances in infrared photodetectors, Vandervelde will investigate the use of a novel photodiode structure that contains a barrier which prevents recombination of the charge carriers. This allows the particles to flow out of the cell as unimpeded electrical current.

"By putting the barriers in, we end up separating where those charge carriers are so they end up not spending a lot of time near each other," says Vandervelde. "It makes recombination far less likely to occur, which means that you end up getting out a lot more current for the same amount of light coming in."

More efficient TPVs could also be used to recoup the heat lost to keep massive computer data server farms cool. "The realization of cooler-running, more energy-efficient, server farmswhich occupy 20% of energy consumption off the energy grid in some locations alone will change the very nature of our nation's energy needs in a positive way," he says.

"The ability to harness the ubiquitous waste heat represents a significant jump forward to our becoming a truly green society," Vandervelde says.


'/>"/>

Contact: Alex Reid
alexander.reid@tufts.edu
617-627-4173
Tufts University
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Tufts University Prof. Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos named as AAAS Fellow
2. Tufts University professor receives IADR Pharmacology/Therapeutics/Toxicology Award
3. Tufts students host Earth Day with groundbreaking ceremony for solar house
4. Tufts wins NCRR grant for Collaborative Cluster in Genome Structure and Developmental Patterning
5. Tufts graduate students win $10,000 prizes
6. Tufts University chemist earns prestigious award for promising research on drug development
7. Jackson Laboratory and Tufts University announce new Ph.D. track in mammalian genetics
8. Tufts announces public launch of the Tufts Institute for Biomedical Partnerships website/HUB
9. Tufts professor earns ISCB Award for Excellence in Chemical Sciences
10. Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News reports on growing role of molecular diagnostics
11. US Senate confirms Clemson University engineering Dean Esin Gulari to National Science Board
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/11/2017)... April 11, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... company, announces the appointment of independent Directors Mr. Robin ... its Board of Directors, furthering the company,s corporate governance and ... Gino Pereira ... look forward to their guidance and benefiting from their considerable ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
(Date:4/5/2017)... -- KEY FINDINGS The global market for ... of 25.76% during the forecast period of 2017-2025. The ... the growth of the stem cell market. ... INSIGHTS The global stem cell market is segmented on ... stem cell market of the product is segmented into ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/9/2017)... 9, 2017  BioTech Holdings announced today identification ... its ProCell stem cell therapy prevents limb loss ... Company, demonstrated that treatment with ProCell resulted in ... as compared to standard bone marrow stem cell ... in reduction of therapeutic effect.  ...
(Date:10/9/2017)... ... October 09, 2017 , ... The Giving Tree Wellness ... targeting the needs of consumers who are incorporating medical marijuana into their wellness ... Arizona. , As operators of two successful Valley dispensaries, The Giving Tree’s two ...
(Date:10/7/2017)... ... October 06, 2017 , ... ... launched its ProxiMeta™ Hi-C metagenome deconvolution product, featuring the first commercially available ... bioinformatics software to perform Hi-C metagenome deconvolution using their own facilities, supplementing ...
(Date:10/6/2017)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... October 06, 2017 ... ... Cure) will host a lunch discussion and webinar on INSIGhT, the first-ever adaptive ... INSIGhT Principal Investigator, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. The event is free and open to ...
Breaking Biology Technology: